The UK says it “is fully committed to the principle that there must be no impunity for the most serious international crimes.” But its failure to speak out against the beheadings and torture of Armenians suggests otherwise.

Nov 17, 2020 | Uncategorized

The Government repeatedly says – and does so again in this parliamentary reply that “The UK is fully committed to the principle that there must be no impunity for the most serious international crimes but then fails to create the necessary mechanisms to enable that to happen.

Today I was sent the link above to the atrocities which continue to take place against Armenians. If we are so “fully committed what are we doing to investigate and bring to account those responsible for the torture and beheadings described? The UK has known for weeks what is happening to the Armenians but has failed to meet its obligations to prevent and to act.

Baroness Sugg, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL9901):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Sugg on 2 November (HL Deb, cols 495–9), what assessment they have made of the judgment delivered by the International Court of Justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro (no. 91) on 26 February 2007, in particular the statement contained in that judgment that “a State’s obligation to prevent, and the corresponding duty to act, arise at the instant that the State learns of, or should normally have learned of, the existence of a serious risk that genocide will be committed”; what assessment they have made of the risk of genocide in the Nagorno-Karabakh region; and what steps they are taking in response to that assessment. (HL9901)

Tabled on: 03 November 2020

Answer:
Baroness Sugg:

The UK takes its moral and legal obligations seriously, and is fully committed to focusing on conflict prevention as the best means to prevent most mass atrocities. HMG adopts a consolidated, whole-of-government effort, using our diplomatic, development, defence and law enforcement capabilities, to help find pathways to global peace and stability. The policy of the UK is that any determination on whether genocide has occurred is a matter for competent judicial bodies, rather than for governments. The UK is fully committed to the principle that there must be no impunity for the most serious international crimes. The UK welcomes the news that the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to end the fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Date and time of answer: 17 Nov 2020 at 13:44.

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